Morgan Stanley topped analysts’ estimates, though its net income fell in the first quarter from a year ago: It reported profits of $2.34 billion, or $1.39 per share, for the period ending March 31 — down 9% from last year’s $2.58 billion, or $1.45 per share. Revenues declined 7% to $10.29 billion.
Wealth management revenue, however, grew slightly to $4.39 million, and the unit’s profits improved 1% to $924 million.
It now has 15,708 registered reps — up 26 from a year ago and 14 from the prior quarter. These advisors have an average of $158 million in client assets and $1.12 million of yearly fees and commissions (vs. $1.06 million in the year-ago quarter).
Rival Merrill Lynch’s advisor headcount is 14,761 — down eight from the prior quarter and 68 from a year ago. The average yearly fees and commissions for these and other Bank of America advisors are $1.04 million; among veteran Merrill FAs, though, this figure is about $1.35 million.